The pandemic reformulates the role of automation as a technological and progress engine
The coronavirus pandemic that has hit world economies for a year now has taken a Copernican turn in the way of understanding the role of technology. Not only regarding processes related to the branches of economic production, but also in the day-to-day lives of citizens.
From remote working to online commerce or to PCR analysers that measure polymerase chain reactions that detect Covid-19, technology has become embedded in daily life and has reformulated the role of automation as an engine of progress.
The industry, especially the sanitary and food processing industry, has taken a step forward by betting on high-precision robotic systems, as a guarantee of production with the most demanding quality and safety standards.
In fact, ‘FoodTech’, a term that encompasses workers that apply technologies to the food processing value chain, has gone from having an investment volume of 45 million euros accumulated in 2019 in Spain to a forecast of 131 million for this year 2021, which represents a spectacular growth of 191.1 percent, according to a report by Eatable Adventures.
39% of the ‘startups’ in the national ‘FoodTech’ sector focus their developments on the production and transformation of food in the value chain; 29% in the part of logistics, distribution and retail; 15% develop technology for the hospitality industry; and 17% specialize in technologies for agriculture, mainly regarding crop automation and new indoor or vertical techniques.
Container handling, palletizing and depalletizing, basketing, unpacking and feeding autoclaves, feeding caps, cartooning, or cleaning equipment are some of the customized solutions for the food industry that we have at Autorema. Including all types of packaging, from glass jar, tin container, aluminium, beverage, through rigid plastic containers to ‘Doypack’ or ‘Retort Pouch’ type containers.
In addition, we develop robot integration projects for the most diverse sectors, as well as applications such as object recognition, palletizing cells for all types of merchandise, systems for handling heavy loads or ‘pick and place’.
The reason is that the fear of human infection makes new forms of business flourish before seen as extravagant, such as robotic restaurants, but it has also consolidated and accelerated logistics automation, telemedicine, disinfection work, food and medicine delivery, or surveillance with drones. A robot capable of detecting people who are not wearing a mask has even been created.
Times of change in which automation is now perceived by citizens not as a distorting element linked to job destruction, but as a support instrument and an ally for a future that is already present.